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Valentine’s Day Shopping Guide
Sex Guides and Tips
by Matthew Lewis

It’s that time of year again!

Yes, it’s the time of pitch-crooned balladry, of last-minute lurches through the deathly hallows of the neighborhood Hallmark store. It is the time of rosewater and sugar, champagne and strawberries. It is when even the groundhogs are slipping into the body-stocking of their amorous shadows (and stocking up on fur-sensitive lube).

It’s… Valentine’s Day!

Now it’s said that nearly 85% of all valentines and other assorted articles of Cupidry things are purchased by women. Which means that there are probably a great many couches and doghouses occupied by the various and sundry lovers of women on the evening of the 14th. But – you can avoid this fate! Come with us, on a scintillating journey through your Valentine’s Day one-stop shop – though in this case, one might be tempted to call it Eros Day! And isn’t that the point?

So come along with us – we promise – this year, you’ll be spending Valentine’s night in bed. And you won’t be alone…

GIFTS FOR HER

They say that if you love something, you should set it free. We say whoever said that most likely lived a very lonely life, in a house full of half-feral cats. The truth is that if you really love something, and that something is a woman, then you should buy her the most tricked-out sex toy available. Because nothing says ‘I love you’ to a woman like the mechanized (batteries may not be included) proof that you are interested in her orgasmic happiness – even when you’re not around to witness/engender/hamper/Twitter it.

You see, the reptilian brain is both a magnificent and dangerous thing. Especially when it only has approximately 30 minutes to think of an appropriate Valentine’s Day present on the way home from work on the 14th. This is the moment when the reptilian brain (of men, in particular) throws out three thoughts:

  • “The ladies, they love Ziggy cards.”
  • “The ladies, they really love Palmer brand chocolates.”
  • “If there’s one thing that the ladies really love, it’s cleaning equipment. Because the ladies absolutely love to clean things.”

Unfortunately, quality wet-vacs are awfully pricey, especially in this fragile economy. And you really don’t want to fight through the crowds at Home Depot at 6:00PM on the 14th with all the other hapless dudes fighting over vacuums. And you also don’t want to get punched in your Sullenbergers when you do bring home that wet-vac and yell, “happy Valentine’s Day, baby – lookit what I gotcha!”

So let’s be proactive about it this year, and take a gander at a few something-somethings a little sultrier for her…

Luxury vibrators

Mamma Mia! No, this Mia will not serenade her with “Dancing Queen”, but it will afford you an opportunity to lay all your love on her. It’s small, it’s sleek, it’s throbby, and, just like an iPod, it’s USB-compatible – perfect for charging up at Starbucks while you’re both busy blogging your sexual cheerfulness to the rest of the world.

If you want to go a bit, ahem, deeper in your amorous gift-giving, you could always get her something that will hit the spot – her g-spot, that is. The Galan – which, in case you didn’t know, is short for Gallant – will do just the trick.

Of course, if you want to go the tried-and-true method, there’s always the line of Rabbit-style vibrators – for instance, the Passion Wave Stimulator vibrator.

If what she likes is maximum functionality, there’s the Love Vibes Lover traditional vibrator. With a 10-cycle setting (no, tumble-dry is not among the options), heart-shaped nubs, and a waterproof exterior, this little toy is both flexible and firm.

Luxury dildos

Among the cardinal rules of rock ’n roll, there is the rule that every artist must at some point directly reference the heartbreaker who has wreaked untold damage upon the rock star in question. Just look at the list of bands who have composed “Heartbreaker” songs: Led Zeppelin, ELO, Mariah Carey, Pat Benatar, the Stones, Dolly Parton, Dionne Warwick, and of course, the zeitgeist of rock ’n roll apoplexy, Grand Funk Railroad. But as sex and rock ’n roll are such kindred spirits, it’s only natural that the dildo industry would, ahem, muscle in on rock’s heartbreakerishness. The good news is that this particular Heartbreaker won’t hurt anyone’s feelings – rather, it’s the perfect cure for any g-spot pinings. And, we have it on good authority; it does not feel like Tom Petty.

If you want to show her just how pure your love for her truly is, then why not do so with a Pure Wand? It’s made for easy g-spot access – though it’s just as adaptable to p-spot play, thus finally proving true the old marketing adage of ‘strong enough for a man, but made for a woman!’

Has she been a bad girl? Or just an extra-special good girl? Then send her to the office to see…the Principal! (Fortunately, this Principal is neither played nor endorsed by Jim Belushi.)

Maybe through your Valentine bestowing, you’d like to make a statement about saving the planet. If so, there’s only one sex toy you should consider for her – the Smooth S Shape. It’s a double-ended wooden – yes, wooden dildo – ergonomic, aesthetically pleasing, and, most importantly, pleasing to the most discerning eco-friendly g-spot. So give her what she really wants this Valentine’s Day – give her a woody!

Body jewelry

While diamonds may very well be forever, so are the payments. Unless you’re a friend of Bernie Madoff, in which case you should be receiving a package of diamonds from him any day now. Otherwise, why not try a little sensual body jewelry this Valentine’s Day?

With the Asian Hearts Nipple Rings, she’ll never have to wear her heart on her sleeve for you anymore – she can wear it on her breasts! Or how about some Silver Heart Nipple Shields, for when, well, she rides into battle with her fellow SCA members? Or maybe a Double Hearts Belly Chain, in case you want to undulate yourself into a belly-dancing frenzy as a special treat.

Sexy lingerie

Sometimes we just want to shuffle out of our own clothes and into the clothes of someone else – an idealized self, a hyper-sexualized self. Because there’s always something to be said about a well-chosen piece of lingerie, whether it’s designed to teasereveal…or a bit of both. Alternately, pasties aren’t reserved specifically for the land of 1,000 dances anymore. So get your burlesque on – next thing you know, the two of you will be getting your hurly-burly on.

And as for the men – well, all you need is to take your clothes off. Put on your best smile. And tie a bright, shiny red ribbon around your…you get the idea.

GIFTS FOR HIM

First off, put down that tie. No, put it down. Now. You are not buying him another tie this year. Ah, ah, ah – put those tie-tacks down, too. You’re not buying those either.

Chances are that if you’re still with your current beau, he must be doing something right. The modern man is a far more complex and multifaceted animal than he is often given credit for. Today’s man can cook like a gourmand (provided you enjoy giant slabs of rare-ish meat), fix large mechanical things, sing twee songs, quote dialogue from shitty 80s movies, wear pastels, and provide penile satisfaction at the end of the day. Come on, admit it – we’re pretty fabulous for a bunch of slobs.

Now, for the last time – PUT THAT TIE DOWN and pay attention to a few things he might REALLY like.

Masturbators

Let’s begin with a newsflash: men like to masturbate. I know; it’s a shock. However, masturbation is one of the three things in life that men are really good at:

  • Masturbating!
  • Thinking about masturbating!
  • Getting kind of sleepy directly after masturbating!

As such, you may want to consider giving him the gift of masturbatory revelry this Valentine’s Day – because nothing says ‘I love you’ like an open invitation to jack it. So give him a Tenga Deep Throat onacup. Or a Memorial Pocket Pal. And don’t forget the lube. He’ll really appreciate it.

Cock rings

Or, if you want to go another route, make yourself the lord of his rings: One Silver Spiral Ring to rule them all. One Celtic ring to find them. One Bo ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them. Or in the light; it’s up to you, really.

Prostate massagers and butt plugs

Studies show that approximately 76% of all men of European descent are or were at one time named Bob. Further evidence suggests that many of these Bobs were coldcockishly uptight men. Well, no more – the new Bob – the Bob Pleasure Object, that is, is a p-spot massager of unparalleled scope and beauty. And, for added satisfaction, it looks like a letter opener.

What happens when you mix the unbridled joy of listening to George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic with the unchecked ecstasy of the perfect prostate massager, minus an extra K or so? The Pfun by Njoy, of course!

If he likes a little hum to go with his rattle, give it to him with the Nexus Vibro Luxury Set. Because for men, diamonds aren’t forever – but body-rocking orgasms are.

And if you really want to amp it up for him, give him his toy while wearing that tie you bought him. With absolutely nothing else on.

ROMANTIC NIGHTS

Romantic nights

If you’re going to do Valentine’s Day right, the key word to keep in mind here is Romance. Woman, man, trans, gay, hetero, bi, old, young, cyborg, bridge-troll – we all like a little romance from time to time. Of course, we’re not talking about general-audience storybook romance; we’re thinking more like something of a TV-M sort. At least. And on that gentle note, we’ve got you covered. In rose petals, frankincense, and myrrh, no less. Which is precisely where the Enchanted Evening gift set comes in. With massage oil, chocolate body paint, a brush, champagne flutes, scented silk rose petals, and two tea lights, it’s like creating your very own Kubla Khan-esque pleasure dome. And without having to memorize any poetry.

Then there’s the Carnal Pleasures Collection sensual kit, with massage cream, aphrodisiac oil, edible powder, massage oil, sensations balm and a feather tickler.

Or, if you want to make a long weekend of your Valentine’s groove-on, try the Naughty Weekender 2 sensual kit – with warming massage oil, intimacy body balm, personal lubricant, a feather tickler, one tea light, and a guide book full of romantic tips and games to play all weekend long. Don’t worry; none of them are Sudoku.

Edible treats

Once you’ve set the mood, you’ll probably want to ratchet things up a bit through the stages of arousal. We’ve got lingerie for the visual stimuli, massage kits for the tactile, which means that the next sense to be overwhelmed is the sense of taste.

Yes, it’s time for a little chocolate-dipped tête-à-tête. So why not lead by example, and invite your lover to eat you – or at least pour the sugar on…and lick it off.

Get your gastronomical Gauguin on with the Lover’s Paint Box. Or, if you’re so devilishly inclined, there’s always Body souffle. Souffle, as you know, is one of mankind’s finest inventions. And as you are also well aware, sex is nature’s crowning masterpiece. So why wouldn’t you want to combine the two most luxurious things on earth: eating souffle, AND having sex? Think about it: there’s a whole subculture of foodies these days who obsess over the delicacies of souffle skin. Well, now you don’t have to worry about making your own – just apply a little body souffle to your (or your partner’s) skin – and bon appétit!

Valentine sex toys

While in some cultures (you know who you are), nothing says ‘I heart you’ like a shiny new butt-plug, sometimes a touch of subtlety is required. So instead, say I heart you with hearts – in the form of LuvBeads. Or, if you want to wear your heart somewhere else, why not on your cock? After all, you ARE happy to see her, right? So show her – with a Silicone Lover’s Enhancer. Put it on, turn it on, and you’ll both be vrooming your Valentine’s Day away.

If your love is too precious a flower for anything too overbearing, then give her a Blossom. No, not an old Gin Blossoms cd from the bargain bin – this Blossom is a vibrating finger massager, with petals designed to give precise, ahem, pollination to her most sensitive bits.

And ladies – we’re not forgetting about your sense of self-expression. What better way for you to show your partner exactly how you feel than greeting them wearing nothing but a Heart Harness and Dildo Set? Then you can not only say ‘I heart you’, but ‘I am going to heart you – all night long!’

Kinky gifts

Concocting a romantic evening is a lot like making a stew. You dole out your mise-en-place, sauté your vegetables, and add your other ingredients in careful measures. But right before it’s finished, you give it a last-minute taste, just to make sure it isn’t missing anything. Like a little extra spice…which brings us directly to the kinkier side of things.

And so, moving back to our ‘not wearing your heart on your sleeve’ motif, why not let your lover wear your hearts – right on the bottom! If it’s true that you only hurt the ones you love, then Valentine’s Day is without question the most appropriate time to break out an Impressions Hearts Paddle, and spank that bodacious badonkadonk until it’s red, heart-y, and probably a little smarty. And last year, you were wondering what all those rhythmic smacking noises around your neighborhood were.

Or you could bring a little Spanish Inquisition into your big night of romance with a Fluffy Flogger. After just a few lashes, your lover will confess their undying love and devotion for you! And then, just like the inquisitors of old, you can stop whipping them and…you know, give them some hot chocolate. With marshmallows.

But if she or he gets a little too squirmy, you don’t have to put up with it – just tie them down, with Cuffies Elegance wrist cuffs, or the Sensual Surrender BDSM Kit. The Sensual Surrender also comes with a blindfold, in case you have any extra-special surprises in store.

Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind; And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind. -Shakespeare, from A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Well, you can’t really argue when it comes to matters of the heart. Or deranged nobles. However, we think it’s reasonably safe to argue that, while mayhap blind, Cupid was most likely sporting one big, sloppy shit-eating grin.

And you can wear one too.

Just leave the tie off.